Authors Answer 84 – Unusual Author Talents

I was going to call this Stupid Author Tricks, but I don’t want David Letterman to get angry at me. If you think authors just write, you’re wrong. They also have some interesting talents! This week, we share our talents with you.

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Question 84 – Do you have an unusual talent? What is it?

Linda G. Hill

I can lick my own nose. I’m incredibly fast at licking other people’s noses too. Mostly my family… strangers don’t take too kindly to it.

Gregory S. Close

I’m older and less fit now, so I don’t know if I still have this talent, but in my younger days I could do a pretty mean vertical jump from a standstill.  I enjoyed startling my friends by suddenly jumping to some seemingly inaccessible window sill or ledge.  Unfortunately, I did not also have super strength, spider silk with the tensile strength of steel, amazing agility or a sixth sense.  That would have completed the package into something more useful.

D. T. Nova

Not really. The only thing I can think of is the taco-tounge-roll thing that I’ve heard most people can’t do. It sounds silly, but hey, it’s what Buttercup has instead of freezing breath like Blossom or talking to animals like Bubbles…wait, that’s even sillier.

While that was true, it was more of a demonstration than an answer, since I’ve been told my talent is being able to remember random details from shows I haven’t seen in 20 years.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can break a cell phone in record time. Not the most convenient talent. My current phone has a malfunctioning power button that will only work about half the time, so turning off the screen or the phone itself is a chore.

Jean Davis

What, killing fictional people in creative ways isn’t unusual enough? I used to be able to skin a deer in ten minutes back when I was a teenager and did it after school as my first job.

Paul B. Spence

I’m really good with weapons. Any weapons. I have a talent for survival. I suppose my most unusual talent is a talent for learning. I’m really good at many different things.

Eric Wood

Not that it’s unusual, but you don’t find many in every day life who know how to juggle. I can juggle three of pretty much anything. Eggs. Balls – baseballs, basketballs, doesn’t matter (though I’ve never tried bowling balls – yet). Rings. Bowling pins. I used to have torches I would light on fire and juggle those. I can juggle any combination of things, too.

S. R. Carrillo

I possess the unenviable ability to bust out into a cold sweat, no matter how calm or warm or comfortable I am.

H. Anthe Davis

The only thing I can think of is my fondness for making up new words to current songs, a la Weird Al Yankovic.  I used to reword songs all the time for my MMORPG characters, but haven’t done much recently — though I do pick at this idea I had of a musical version of my series now and then.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

I don’t know whether I’d call it an “unusual” talent, but despite the fact that I’m one of the messiest people I know (I put everything down where I stand, so everything is lost all the time) I’m ridiculously good with paperwork. A while back my coworkers and I were working on this thing called a “dredge” that was designed in the Netherlands, and the paperwork was just outrageously confusing. It turned out that in addition to the confusing nature of it, the people who had made our work packs had completely screwed up by trying to organize it the way we normally would, which meant that they had sheets from different files all balled together in the wrong order and it was just a complete mess. I worked with three electricians and two instrument techs for a week to get it all settled so that we could hand it over to the parent company, and I’m totally confident in saying that if I hadn’t been involved it would have taken a month. By the end of it one of the boys would ask me where in the 2000+ pages of documents was the page for a certain device, and I’d be like, “It’s in book #2, section #6, somewhere between pages 10 and 20.” lol

Allen Tiffany

Survival. I’ve done way too many stupid things in my life to still be alive, or at least not badly maimed. From playing with guns to driving at 125 in the middle of the night with my lights out I’ve done more than my fair share of immature things. Fortunately, I never hurt myself or anyone else. Here is the one that went a long way to helping me grow up…

I met an old friend who lived on the northwest Pacific coast. After a long night in a bar, we were not stupid drunk but had more than a few beers. We wound up on a beach (I don’t now remember where) at about 2:00 AM when it was near 40 degrees. The beach was extremely wide and had only a modest incline, and it was pockmarked by mounds of rock about 10 or 15 feet above the sand. We were chatting and not paying much attention, but found it mildly amusing to follow every receding way out until we came to another pile of rock, which we scramble up as another wave would come in.

Finally, we chased a receding line of water out, and struggled up another mound of rock as the next wave crashed in. The water rushed around our little island…and it kept going. And then another wave came in on top of the first. After that came the next wave, and then another. After about five minutes, the water was up to our knees and we were struggling to maintain our footing, dry land was at least 200 yards away, and we were wearing heavy jeans and coats. We also knew that if we fell off our underwater pile of rock, once the water started to recede, we’d be pulled out in to the ocean, and dragged under as our heavy clothes pulled us down. The cold water would also sap our energy.

After a while, we could no longer see the edge of the water. In the moonlight we hung on to each other looking around, feeling like we just as easily could have been in the middle of the Pacific. I don’t remember our exact words, but it was something to the effect of how stupid we were.

The water did — ever so slowly — begin to slide back into the Pacific basin. When it was only knee deep we jumped in and ran as hard as we could to the east.

Jay Dee Archer

I can roll my stomach. Well, I could do it far better when I was a kid, and these days, it just gives me mild nausea. My stomach rolls like a wave from top to bottom. My daughter can do it, too.

But I think a better talent is my ability to visualise any place as a map in my mind. When I know exactly what a place is like, I can see it in my mind like I have Google Maps installed in my brain. Now if only I could hook it up with GPS.

How about you?

What unusual talents do you have? Share them with us in the comments below.

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12 thoughts on “Authors Answer 84 – Unusual Author Talents”

  1. Does having a strong, seemingly intuitive grasp of the mechanics of written English count as an unusual talent? 🙂

    I have a knack for pattern recognition, even when the patterns aren’t straightforward things. (Apparently this knack is genetic; my twin has it, too, although he’s less likely to use it for making weird fiction-reference jokes: ‘Heh, heh — they said “Pattern”!’) Sometimes it’s a lot of fun, and sometimes it’s distracting (which is why I’ve already typed and then deleted about a dozen tangents in this comment).

    1. I seem to have this with spelling, mainly. Always have, and I often have no clue why other people can’t remember how to spell easy words.

      I should also add that I have an ability to visualise any mechanical, physical, biological, or chemical system or process in my mind. I find it easy to understand them because I can see it clearly in my mind.

          1. I know someone who’s both an artist and a writer despite having aphantasia (which is the only reason I’ve even heard of it). Says he draws pictures of things he “imagines” so he can see what they look like.

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Everyone has at least one unusual talent. Today the authors and I are talking about ours! Mine might seem a little boring to the average person, but some of the others are pretty interesting. 😄

  3. (replying to Jay Dee’s comment — there’s no “reply” button there)

    As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, aphantasia is only a minor inconvenience for my brother. Having no ability to recall visual details doesn’t mean not being able to remember them; it just means not remembering them in PICTURES. He’s got an excellent memory for spatial/kinetic details, for example, which is part of why he’s so much better at writing combat scenes than I am. 🙂 Also, since he remembers a lot of things by describing them to himself in words, the way he learned to work around the aphantasia actually gives him a bit of an advantage (in my opinion) over people who are accustomed to literally visualizing scenes in a story first and then having to translate those scenes into words.

    I should ask him if he’d be willing to write something for my blog about what it’s like to be an author with aphantasia…

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